Should I Take the MPRE After the Bar Exam?
Many students wonder about whether they should take the MPRE after the bar exam. Often, they’ve delayed talking the MPRE, and want to get what they see as the more stressful exam out of the way. However, depending on their state, this could be a huge mistake! Read further to see why we advise taking the MPRE before the bar exam.
Should I Take the MPRE After the Bar Exam?
To start, we always advise to get the MPRE out of the way first. The last thing you will want to do after sitting for the bar exam is prepare for another test! Also, your state may have restrictions you are unaware. Here are a few common problems:
1. Different states have different rules on when you have to pass the MPRE, so check!
If you plan on taking the MPRE after the bar exam, make sure that your jurisdiction allows it! Rules vary from state-to-state, even those that administer the UBE. For example, some UBE jurisdictions are very lenient with the time parameters of when a passing MPRE score is earned. Arizona, for example, allows bar exam takers to pass the MPRE within a time frame of two years before they take the bar, or 5 years after! Missouri, on the other hand, requires passage of the MPRE within one year of receiving your written notice that you pass the bar exam.
As you can see, those are quite different requirements. We advise you check with your jurisdiction to see what their requirements are for the MPRE. If you plan to take the MPRE after the bar exam, make sure you are very aware of the guidelines in your state.
2. Some jurisdictions will not allow you to sit for the bar exam until you pass the MPRE.
Several states make taking the MPRE after the bar exam impossible. In Massachusetts, passing the MPRE is a filing requirement to sit for the bar exam. Obviously, you’ll need to take care of this before you plan on sitting for the exam. Other states put a time frame on how long an MPRE score is good for application purposes. In Alaska, a passing MPRE score must be dated within 8 years of applying for admission to the Alaska state bar, and must be sent with your application to sit for the bar exam. In Maine, the same is true, but applicants get 15 years leeway.
For all these jurisdictions, passing the MPRE is a requirement to sitting for the bar exam. Since jurisdictions can change their requirements, it is best to check with your jurisdiction well before you plan to take the bar exam to make sure you will be eligible.
3. If you wait to take the MPRE after the bar exam, you might not be able to retake the bar if you fail.
In Michigan, you do not need to take the MPRE before the bar exam. However, if you fail the bar exam, you cannot sit for it again until you pass character and fitness, which involves passing the MPRE.
Clearly, this puts more pressure on you on bar exam day. If you fail the bar, and haven’t passed the MPRE, you are opening yourself up to a lot of headaches! It’s much easier to take and pass the MPRE before the bar exam. Why add any more stress to an already stressful two days!
If you are looking for free resources, you are in luck! For more MPRE tips and tricks, we highly recommend that you review all of our MPRE posts by clicking here. Some popular ones are:
- MPRE Cheat Sheet: Here is a lovely, condensed and efficient MPRE cheat-sheet that you can follow along as you memorize the rules!
- How many questions you should be answering correctly when you practice? (It may surprise you to know that it is almost the same number of questions that you need to be answering correctly to pass no matter what a “passing score” is in your jurisdiction!)
- MPRE Free questions! Here is a list of free sources for MPRE questions. Even if you are taking an MPRE course, it does not hurt to try a variety of questions. This includes released MPRE questions!
- MPRE Tip: Become familiar with Key Words and Phrases on the MPRE: This post gives you an overview of how you can avoid making mistakes by paying careful attention to the call of the question. If you are taking the MPRE this weekend, it is a good last-minute read to make sure you don’t fall into a trap!
- Five Last-Minute tips to Pass the MPRE: These are some last-minute tips and tricks that help students pass the MPRE. They are good things to keep in mind on the exam day!
- How to Pass the MPRE the First Time you Take It: If you are in law school wondering how to conquer this thing the first time you take it, read our advice here.
Do you offer tutoring for the MPRE?
Yes, we offer MPRE tutoring if you are interested in working one-on-one with a tutor who can help you with multiple-choice strategies as well as substantive law. We meet some students for just one session to cover MPRE strategies. Other students we meet multiple times (between two and five times). We offer tutoring online and in person.
Further, we offer group tutoring rates (if you choose to get tutored with a friend). We have a 100% passage rate for our students who have met us for MPRE private tutoring.
Good luck studying for the MPRE!
Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising. Ms. Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011 after graduating as the #1 student in her law school class of over 200 students in 2011. She, as well as a team of others, offer bar exam courses, seminars, and private tutoring for bar exam students nationwide. This includes services for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and Michigan bar exam. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions.